Saturday, June 16, 2012

Climate Change? - #3975 - Dr. Charles Battig: Virginia is Sinking - American Thinker

Virginia has attracted much attention recently not only because of its status as a swing state, but also as a sinking state. Within the same week, two remarkably similar articles were published featuring the nexus between political belief systems and coastal sea level impacts. The June 5, 2012 BBC News Magazine article by Daniel Nasaw "Virginia's dying marshes and climate change denial" was soon followed by the June 10, 2012 PilotOnline "Lawmakers avoid buzzwords on climate change bills" by Scott Harper. Mr. Nasaw paints a dismal picture of the Virginia coastline with trees withering away and vital marsh lands sinking, victims of a "rising sea level," linked to "climate change denial." Amongst those quoted in his two-page article is Carl Hershner who "studies coastal resources management at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS)." Mr. Hershner dutifully laments that, "Here in Virginia there is very little political will to address the mitigation side of things-reducing our carbon footprint, reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Perhaps Hershner has some unique insight into the nature and magnitude of such mitigations needed to achieve a measurable impact on "the climate." To date, the human contribution to global temperature change remains an ill-defined, minor contribution to natural forces. The link to "climate change" is just plain un-defined. Global temperatures have not increased for the past 15 years even as atmospheric carbon dioxide (carbon footprint) has continued to rise. Neither Mr. Hershner nor reporter Nasaw seems aware of Professor John Boon, also of the same VIMS. Boon has studied the geology and sea level interactions of the Chesapeake area. His December 2010 report, "Sea-Level study brings good and bad news to Hampton Roads," states that the good news is that "absolute sea level in Chesa­peake Bay is rising only about half as fast as the global average rise rate. The bad news, says Boon, is that local subsidence more than makes up for it." His report notes that, "Data from NOAA satellites and tide gauges show that absolute sea level is rising at a rate of about 1.8 millimeters per year in Chesapeake Bay. That's only about half of the globally averaged 3.1-mm per year rate of absolute sea-level rise, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." Boon concludes that, "on average, about 50% of the relative sea level rise measured at Bay water level stations is due to local subsidence. The mid- Atlantic region is slowly sinking in response to land movements associated with melting of the polar ice caps following the last Ice Age, faulting associated with the Chesapeake Bay Impact Crater, local groundwater withdrawals, and other factors."  Read entire article........

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